SMART Motorcycle Safety Course

Motorcycle related fatalities and motorcycle crashes in general are a big concern. The only way to help mitigate the problem is through awareness and training. That's why the Osceola County Sheriff's Office developed the SMART Course and why the Gainesville Police Department has adopted the SMART Course. The acronym SMART stands for Safe Motorcycle and Rider Techniques.

The goal of the SMART training is:

"To help students demonstrate safe motorcycle riding techniques by negotiating commonly found street riding situations in a controlled and skill oriented manner."

In order to accomplish our goal, SMART training is broken down into objectives that focus on the four primary areas that can be applied to any aspect of motorcycle riding. These include the proper use of head and eyes during turning, dipping the bike in order to facilitate transitioning, leaning the bike to make tighter turns, and properly manipulating the clutch, throttle, and brake, in order to properly work within the motorcycle's grey area.

The training is conducted in a closed course instructed by highly trained law enforcement motor officers using the very same techniques that place them in the top 5% of all riders. Each student receives individualized attention which positively reinforces the skills sets the course tries to improve. If the student has paid attention and applied themselves, they will leave a better rider than when they came in. By working together, we can lower the number of motorcycle related fatalities and crashes.

"I have just signed up for my first class, now what?"

Great! We look forward to seeing you at our SMART Course. Before your class, we strongly encourage you to review this area in its entirety. It is your responsibility to have read and have a clear understanding of this information prior to class.

Ride Smart Florida

SMART Course Fee

The SMART course is free, paid for by a grant from the Dept. of Transportation.

Class Location

Kirkpatrick Criminal Justice Training Center
3737 NE 39th Avenue
Gainesville, FL 32609 

What to Bring to Class

  • Valid Driver's License with motorcycle endorsement
  • A mechanically sound motorcycle (no leaking fluids, worn tires etc.)
  • Over the ankle footwear (footwear which covers the ankle bone and provides support)
  • Long pants
  • Long sleeve shirt or lightweight jacket
  • Eye protection (sunglasses or eyeglasses are acceptable)
  • Department of Transportation approved helmet
  • Gloves
  • Water, PowerAde, Gatorade or some other non-alcoholic beverage. Snacks are optional, but remember: you will be outside on a driving pad with limited shade! Drink plenty of fluids 1 to 2 hours prior to the start of your range session and continue during your range session. Sunscreen, rain gear and a change of clothing are usually good to have available. It is the responsibility of each rider to have everything needed to attend this course. Anyone arriving without the mandatory riding equipment will not be permitted to participate.

Course Information

If you have registered online for the course and determine later that you will not be able to attend, please notify Sgt. Kerkau of your cancellation via e-mail to Sgt. Summer Kerkau or by phone (352) 393-7741. This will allow other riders to fill those spots.

For further information contact (352) 393-7741.

Class Information

When is the class, and what time?
All classes are held on Saturdays with registration beginning at 7:00am to 7:40am. Safety Briefings start at 7:40am with a course walk-through, and the classes will begin at 8am and end at 2pm. This course is free of charge; however every rider must register with a valid driver's license and motorcycle endorsement and sign a waiver. A mandatory rider safety briefing will be held immediately after registration.

Attendance Policy
Classes start on time. Individuals who are late and have not registered by 7:40 am will forfeit their position in class.

Will I receive a discount on insurance?
Completion of this course does not offer any discounts on insurance however each student will leave a better rider than when they arrived.

Will this course help me get my motorcycle endorsement?
This course is not designed to assist new riders with obtaining their motorcycle endorsement. Anyone attending must have a valid motorcycle endorsement to register. This course will teach any rider the fundamentals needed to safely operate a motorcycle.